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Mobile Fingerprint Scanner And Docking Station - Patent 7190817

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Mobile Fingerprint Scanner And Docking Station - Patent 7190817 Powered By Docstoc
					


United States Patent: 7190817


































 
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	United States Patent 
	7,190,817



 Schneider
,   et al.

 
March 13, 2007




Mobile fingerprint scanner and docking station



Abstract

A system including a mobile or portable fingerprint scanner and one or
     more docking stations adapted to operatively receive the scanner. The
     scanner can be hand carried to various locations for obtaining
     fingerprint images and other information such as images from bar code
     scanning. The scanner is battery operated and has the capacity of storing
     a number of such images. The docking station is in the form of a
     receptacle into which the scanner is inserted after obtaining one or more
     images. While the scanner is operatively received in the docking station,
     the image(s) stored in the scanner are downloaded via a connection to a
     personal computer or the like, the scanner battery is recharged and the
     docking station performs various diagnostic operations on the scanner
     before it is withdrawn from the docking station for further use. In a
     typical law enforcement situation, the docking station is located within
     the law enforcement vehicle and the scanner can be used by law
     enforcement personnel at locations remote from the vehicle. In a typical
     security situation, a single scanner is carried by the security officer
     and a docking station is located at each checkpoint or location where the
     officer is to perform an inspection. Each bay station has a unique
     identification and there is bidirectional exchange of information between
     the scanner and the bay station so that the identity of the security
     officer can be confirmed and a record of the inspections is made which
     can be monitored at any time.


 
Inventors: 
 Schneider; John K. (Snyder, NY), Gojevic; Stephen M. (Tonawanda, NY), Turner, IV; Horatio W. (King George, VA) 
 Assignee:


Ultra-Scan Corporation
 (Amherst, 
NY)





Appl. No.:
                    
09/658,638
  
Filed:
                      
  September 11, 2000

 Related U.S. Patent Documents   
 

Application NumberFiling DatePatent NumberIssue Date
 60153182Sep., 1999
 

 



  
Current U.S. Class:
  382/126  ; 382/124
  
Current International Class: 
  G06K 9/00&nbsp(20060101)
  
Field of Search: 
  
  





 382/115-116,120-127,312-315 713/186,200,300
  

References Cited  [Referenced By]
U.S. Patent Documents
 
 
 
5456256
October 1995
Schneider et al.

5467403
November 1995
Fishbine et al.

5790668
August 1998
Tomko

5878211
March 1999
Delagrange et al.

6122394
September 2000
Neukermans et al.

6886104
April 2005
McClurg et al.



   
 Other References 

American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators ("Smart Card Usage in Motor Vehicle Administration", Published in Jan. 1999, pp. i-v and
pp. 1-71). cited by examiner.  
  Primary Examiner: Dang; Duy M.


  Attorney, Agent or Firm: Hodgson Russ LLP



Parent Case Text



CROSS-REFERENCE TO A RELATED APPLICATION


Applicants hereby claim priority based on Provisional Application No.
     60/153,182 filed on Sep. 10, 1999 and entitled "Mobile Fingerprint
     Scanner And Docking Station" which is incorporated hereby by reference.

Claims  

The invention claimed is:

 1.  A fingerprint identification and security system comprising: (a) a portable fingerprint scanner which can be carried on a person and which includes a time of day
clock and a port for data communication to and from the scanner;  (b) a plurality of docking stations at locations where inspections are to be performed, each of the docking stations being in the form of a receptacle for receiving the scanner, each
docking station having a microprocessor and a unique code identification, there being bidirectional data communication between the docking station and the scanner received therein;  and (c) a supervisory docking station in the form of a receptacle for
receiving the scanner for downloading fingerprint images, times of day and docking station identifications from the scanner received therein;  and whereby when a security person makes a round when he reaches each inspection location he operates the
scanner to image his fingerprint and then inserts the scanner into the docking station at that location and a record is made of the time of day, unique identification of the docking station and fingerprint image of the security person which is stored in
the scanner and then at the end of the round the security person inserts the scanner into the supervisory docking station which downloads the fingerprint images and times of day correlated with the docking station identification codes.


 2.  A system according to claim 1, further including a computer operatively associated with the supervisory docking station for processing the downloaded fingerprint images, times of day and docking station identification codes.
 Description  

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


Inkless fingerprint scanners, also known as live scan fingerprint readers or biometric devices, have been widely used for many years.  These systems obtain an image of the fingerprint without the use of inks.  Once an image is acquired, it is
then processed and an identification or verification of the individual's identity is made.


Many different techniques have been used to obtain an image of the finger including optical scanners, thermal scanners, capacitive scanners, E-field sensors, ultrasonic scanners, and many more.  Each uses a different modality or technique to
image the same physical characteristic; the ridge structure of the finger.


In use of such scanners in law enforcement and other applications it would be highly desirable to provide a mobile or portable scanner which can be hand carried easily for convenient use at various physical locations.  It would also be highly
desirable to provide the capability of interfacing with such a scanner at one or more physical locations for such operations as downloading fingerprint images and other information stored in the scanner, scanner battery charging and scanner diagnosis.


SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION


The present invention provides a system including a mobile or portable fingerprint scanner and one or more docking stations adapted to operatively receive the scanner.  The scanner can be hand carried to various locations for obtaining
fingerprint images and other information such as images from bar code scanning.  The scanner is battery operated and has the capacity of storing a number of such images.  The docking station is in the form of a receptacle into which the scanner is
inserted after obtaining one or more images.  While the scanner is operatively received in the docking station, the image(s) stored in the scanner are download via a connection to a personal computer or the like, the scanner battery is recharged and the
docking station performs various diagnostic operations on the scanner before it is withdrawn from the docking station for further use.  In a typical law enforcement situation, the docking station is located within the law enforcement vehicle and the
scanner can be used by law enforcement personnel at locations remote from the vehicle.  In a typical security situation, a single scanner is carried by the security officer and a docking station is located at each checkpoint or location where the officer
is to perform an inspection.  Each bay station has a unique identification and there is bidirectional exchange of information between the scanner and the bay station so that the identity of the security officer can be confirmed and a record of the
inspections is made which can be monitored at any time.


The foregoing and additional advantages and characterizing features of the present invention will become clearly apparent upon a reading of the ensuing detailed description together with the included drawing.  The following detailed description
of the invention, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, is in such full, clear, concise and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains, or with which it is most nearly connected, to make and use the
invention. 

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES


FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of the mobile fingerprint scanner and docking station according to the present invention;


FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram further illustrating the mobile fingerprint scanner and docking station according to the present invention; and


FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram illustrating application of the mobile fingerprint scanner and docking station of the present invention in a security system.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS


Referring first to FIGS. 1 and 2 there is shown and described a system 10 according to the present invention including a mobile or portable fingerprint scanner 12 and a docking station 14 adapted to operatively receive the scanner.  The scanner
12 can be hand carried to various locations for obtaining fingerprint images and other information such as images from bar code scanning.  The scanner 12 is battery operated and has the capability of storing a number of such images.  The scanner 12 can
be of various types including, but not limited to, ultrasonic, optical, capacitance, E-field and thermal/infrared.  By way of example, the mobile scanner 12 can be an ultrasonic scanner of the type shown in U.S.  Pat.  No. 5,647,364 issued Jul.  15,
1997, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference.  Referring to FIG. 10 of that patent, memory 252 would have the capability of storing several fingerprint images and bar codes which will be described.  In addition, the scanner of that
patent would be adapted for battery operation.  In a typical law enforcement situation, the scanner is carried by the law enforcement officer, such as in a pouch on his belt, to wherever the subject(s) to be fingerprinted is located.  The officer can set
the scanner on a suitable supporting surface, such as the hood of an automobile, and then use the scanner to take as many fingerprint images as needed.  The subject's finger is placed on the image area 16 and the fingerprint is scanned to develop an
image thereof as explained in the above-referenced U.S.  Pat.  No. 5,647,364.  The images are stored in the scanner 12 for later retrieval.  A magnetic base 18 on the scanner facilitates temporary securement of the scanner on the vehicle body during use. The scanner 12 can be provided with bar code scanning capability via a bar code scanner 20 on the end of housing 22 so that when the officer takes a fingerprint image of a subject he also can scan the bar code information on the subject's vehicle
registration and/or vehicle operator's license.  LED indicators 24, 26 and 28 are provided to signal various scanner conditions as will be described.  An on-off switch 30 controls supply of power to the scanner and hence its operation.  Scanner 12 is
provided with battery recharging posts 32, 34 on one end of housing 22 which mate with contacts at docking station 14 for recharging the scanner battery in a manner which will be described.  Scanner 12 also is provided with an infrared data link 36 for
wireless transmission of fingerprint images while stored in docking station 14 as will be described.


The docking station 14 is in the form of a receptacle into which the scanner is inserted after obtaining one or more images.  As shown in FIG. 1, the docking station is generally hollow rectangular in shape, open at one end, and having an
interior region 40 shaped and sized to receive the scanner in a snug but removable manner.  While the scanner is operatively received in the docking station 14, the image(s) stored in the scanner are downloaded via a connection to a personal computer or
the like, the scanner battery is recharged and the docking station performs various diagnostic operations on the scanner before it is withdrawn from the docking station for further use.  In a typical law enforcement situation, the docking station 14 is
located within the law enforcement vehicle, being mounted to the floor or inside wall of the vehicle, such as by the brackets 42, 44 or the like and the scanner 12 can be used by law enforcement personnel at locations remote from the vehicle as
previously described.  When the law enforcement officer returns to the vehicle, he inserts the scanner 12 in the docking station 14.  The scanner 12 is retained within the docking station by a magnetic latch or other suitable means (not shown).  The
docking station 14 is connected to a source of 12 volts d.c.  in the vehicle, such as to the vehicle battery by appropriate connection or through the cigarette lighter receptacle.  The docking station 14 also is connected to the personal computer
commonly provided in law enforcement vehicles, via the USB connection 46 indicated in FIG. 1.  Docking station 14 also is provided with LED status indicators 50, 52 and 54.  While the scanner 12 is in the docking station 14, the images stored therein are
downloaded to the onboard PC for processing.  The scanner battery is recharged while in the docking station 14.  The two battery charging posts 32, 34 shown in FIG. 1 on one end of the scanner 12 mate with corresponding contacts in the docking station 14
to connect the 12V vehicle supply to the scanner battery.  Also, each time the scanner 12 is stored in the docking station 14, a diagnostic routine is run on the scanner.  If a problem is detected, the next time the scanner 12 is removed from the docking
station 14 the scanner automatically is disabled and the appropriate LED status indicator is operated.


Table 1 sets forth additional features of scanner 12 and docking station 14, and Table 2 sets forth various advantages of the same.


 TABLE-US-00001 TABLE 1 Scanner Image Size - 0.75'' w .times.  1.0'' l Stores up to 8 complete fingerprint images LED Indicators: Green - scanner ready to acquire image Amber - flashes the number of fingerprint images stored internally Red - low
battery indicator Resolution - 500 dpi, 256 levels of grey Infrared wireless communication link downloads images to docking station Standard 9 volt rechargeable battery provides several hours of operation Size: 5.75'' l .times.  3.25'' w .times.  2.0'' h
Weight 2.1 lbs Docking Station 12 volt DC operation Interfaces to Mobile Data Terminal via USB port LED indicators Green - power on Amber - transferring data to MDT Red - scanner batter recharging Built-in 9 volt battery charger Floor or side wall mount
options Complete Software device drivers provided as a DLL for Win 95/98 and NT Size: 9'' l .times.  3.8'' w .times.  2.6'' d Weight 1.7 lbs General UL 1950, CSA No. 950-22.2, and FCC approvals Reliability - vibration tested to 9.5 Gs, 20 2000 Hz, random
sinusoidal Operating Temperature - 140.degree.  F. (max) Storage Temperature - 158.degree.  F. (max)


 TABLE-US-00002 TABLE 2 Proprietary ultrasonic technology unaffected by most contamination found on fingers or platen Stores up to 8 individual fingerprints for transferring to Mobile Data Terminal Operation unaffected by ambient light or glare
Self-test scanner diagnostics automatically activated upon removal from the docking station Images automatically deleted upon successful transfer to docking station Magnetic base easily attached to vehicle Durable scratch resistant platen Rugged
construction designed to withstand the harshest of environments Stores in pouch for easy mounting on the law enforcement officer's belt Securely locks into docking station Vehicle docking station installs easily using floor or side mount bracket


The foregoing is illustrated further in FIG. 2.  The bidirectional arrow 60 represents the path along which scanner 12 is inserted into and withdrawn from interior region 40 of docking station 14.  Contacts 62 and 64 within scanner 14 are
connected to a battery 66 or other appropriate voltage source for recharging the battery within scanner 12 when scanner contacts 32, 34 mate with docking station contacts 62 and 64.  A personal computer 70, i.e. the onboard PC previously mentioned, is
connected via cable 72 to the USB connection 46 on docking station 14 for downloading the fingerprint images stored in scanner 12 for processing by computer 70.  Another connection via cable 76 between computer 70 and station 14 is shown in FIG. 2 for
the purpose of performing the diagnostic routines on scanner 12 as previously described.  The LED indicators 50, 52 and 54 are connected by lines 80, 82 and 84 respectively to an appropriate routing/processing circuit 86 which, in turn, is connected by
cable 88 to computer 70 for control of the indicators.  Obviously, the three cables 72, 76 and 88 shown in FIG. 2 can be combined into a single cable connection between PC 70 and station 14.


FIG. 3 illustrates application of the mobile or portable fingerprint scanner and docking station of the present invention in a security system.  In a typical security situation, a single scanner 12' is carried by the security officer and a
docking station is located at each checkpoint or location where the officer is to perform an inspection.


In FIG. 3 the three locations identified #1, #2 and #3 represent checkpoints or location where the security guard is scheduled to inspect or contact during his inspection round.  While three locations are shown in FIG. 3 by way of illustration,
there can be any number of such locations.  A docking station of the type shown in FIG. 1 is located at each location #1, #2 and #3 in FIG. 3.  They are designated 14', 14'' and 14'' in FIG. 3.  However, each docking station is a stand alone unit, not
connected to a PC, and has its own power supply.  A microprocessor is provided in each docking station and each station has its own unique identification number or code.  The microprocessors are designated 100, 102 and 104 in FIG. 3.  Each scanner is
provided with a time of day clock, for example clock 110 in scanner 12', and bidirectional communication represented by arrows 112 in FIG. 3 is provided between each scanner and the docking station when the scanner is placed in the station.


When the security officer makes his round, when he reaches each of the locations #1, #2 and #3 shown in FIG. 3, he operates the scanner carried with him to scan his fingerprint then inserts the scanner into the docking station at that location. 
The bi-directional communication between scanner and docking station provides a record of the time of day, the unique i.d.  of the docking station and the fingerprint image of the security officer.  This record can be stored in either or both of the
scanner and docking station.  Then, when the security officer completes the round, he inserts his scanner into the supervision base or docking station 120 which downloads the fingerprint images along with the times of day correlated with the docking
station identification numbers to the PC 122 for further processing such as sending to a central monitoring station.  As a result, control is provided on the security officer himself by way of the fingerprint imaging and his round by way of the times of
day recorded against the docking station identifications.  If desired, the docking stations can be connected together for direct transmission to the PC or other monitor as indicated by the broken lines 124, 126 and 128 in FIG. 3.


The principles of the arrangement of FIG. 3 can be applied to other situations, for example in monitoring the rounds of persons who inspect and service ATM machines.  In all of the situations, the entire monitoring task can be accomplished using
a single scanner in combination with a number of docking stations.  Since the docking stations are relatively less expensive to manufacture this can result in economic advantages.  In the application illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, an entire fleet of law
enforcement vehicles can be equipped with docking stations at relatively low cost and the fingerprint scanners can be acquired according to operational plans and budget.


It is therefore apparent that the present invention accomplishes its intended objectives.  While embodiments of the present invention have been described in detail, that has been done for the purpose of illustration, not limitation.


* * * * *























				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Inkless fingerprint scanners, also known as live scan fingerprint readers or biometric devices, have been widely used for many years. These systems obtain an image of the fingerprint without the use of inks. Once an image is acquired, it isthen processed and an identification or verification of the individual's identity is made.Many different techniques have been used to obtain an image of the finger including optical scanners, thermal scanners, capacitive scanners, E-field sensors, ultrasonic scanners, and many more. Each uses a different modality or technique toimage the same physical characteristic; the ridge structure of the finger.In use of such scanners in law enforcement and other applications it would be highly desirable to provide a mobile or portable scanner which can be hand carried easily for convenient use at various physical locations. It would also be highlydesirable to provide the capability of interfacing with such a scanner at one or more physical locations for such operations as downloading fingerprint images and other information stored in the scanner, scanner battery charging and scanner diagnosis.SUMMARY OF THE INVENTIONThe present invention provides a system including a mobile or portable fingerprint scanner and one or more docking stations adapted to operatively receive the scanner. The scanner can be hand carried to various locations for obtainingfingerprint images and other information such as images from bar code scanning. The scanner is battery operated and has the capacity of storing a number of such images. The docking station is in the form of a receptacle into which the scanner isinserted after obtaining one or more images. While the scanner is operatively received in the docking station, the image(s) stored in the scanner are download via a connection to a personal computer or the like, the scanner battery is recharged and thedocking station performs various diagnostic operations on the scanner before it is withdrawn from the